Think You Have Foundation Trouble? What You Should Know
Foundation problems are a homeowner's worst nightmare. Often, foundation troubles are expensive to repair, and sometimes they can be dangerous for people living in the home.
A home that is experiencing foundation problems cannot be renovated or improved until the foundation itself is stable and strong once again. As a homeowner, it's important for you to be able to identify the signs of foundation trouble, especially before trying to sell your home. When you see that your home is having a foundation problem, taking quick action can help prevent the problem from getting bigger and more expensive to repair. Here's what you need to know.
Identify the Foundation Trouble
Knowing the signs of foundation trouble can help you take the first steps toward repair. Often, the first signs of foundation problems include cracks in the foundation. These cracks may be found outside the home, or in the basement.
Horizontal cracks more than about 6 millimetres in width are a serious sign of trouble. Cracks that take a stair-step shape between the cement blocks are another sign of a problem. Sometimes, the homeowner will see the wall of the basement bowing inward, or the exterior wall of the home bowing outward. This could be a sign of serious instability, and should be addressed right away.
In addition to the cracks in the foundation, other signs of foundation trouble include:
- Cracks formed over doorways and windows inside the house.
- Doors and windows are recently jammed.
- Floors in the house are noticeably slanted.
- The basement leaks from cracks in the foundation wall.
While many homes may show signs of trouble at one time or another (for example, doors may jamb at times of the year when the humidity is high), homeowners should be aware when when many symptoms present all at once.
Get An Inspection
The next step to dealing with a foundation problem is to get an inspection from a qualified structural engineer. When choosing an engineer, it's important to pick an experienced and reputable professional. Homeowners who aren't sure who to trust can talk to other homeowners who have fixed their foundation problems, or may turn to a trusted contractor for recommendations.
After an inspection, the engineer will generate a report about what, if anything, is wrong with the house and what can be done to fix the problem.
Have Repairs Made
The final step to dealing with foundation trouble is to have the repairs made by a qualified contractor. Some contractors deal specifically with resolving foundation problems. These professionals are efficient and experienced. When the repairs are finalized, the contractor may issue a certificate of repair. This certificate can be used to reassure buyers when the time comes to sell the house.
Work With an Experience Real Estate Agent, If Selling
For an Eagle Ridge homeowner who has identified a foundation problem and who would like to sell their home, it's important to work with an experienced real estate professional. A good real estate agent can help the home seller decide whether it's worth while to make the repair, or sell the home as is.
In many cases, it's better to make the foundation repair before selling. Home buyers are skittish about buying homes with major repair problems, and will often ask for a discount that is deeper than the cost of the repair. Making the repair before selling the home maximizes the profit. A good real estate agent can help the homeowner weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision when trying to sell their house.
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